When looking to replace parts or investigating materials used in the parts in your machinery, you may come across the term PTFE quite often. Understanding what this material is and its applications can help you discern if it is the best material for your applications, and further, what grade of the material is correct for your use.
PTFE: What is it?
PTFE is what most people associate with the material officially known as polytetrafluoroethylene. Polytetrafluoroethylene is a synthetic polymer made of two elements, which are carbon and fluorine. It is a fluoropolymer that is used in a wide variety of industrial applications. It is best known for its heat and stick-resistant properties.
Characteristics and Applications
PTFE is used in a variety of applications because it boasts some unique characteristics. In fact, the general public likely has PTFE in their home as a brand name many are aware – Teflon.
The characteristics that make this material unique include but are not limited to:
- Heat resistance. This material has a melting point of 327°C so there are very few applications where it can be damaged by heat.
- Water-resistant. Polytetrafluoroethylene is resistant to water making it useful in a wide variety of applications.
- Chemically inert. PTFE is resistant to most corrosives.
- Non-stick. The coefficient of friction associated with PTFE is one of the lowest of any solids known. Meaning, virtually nothing will stick to it.
- High flexibility. Polytetrafluoroethylene is quite flexible even at low temperatures and can be applied to surfaces without losing its integrity.
Applications of PTFE
There are many applications associated with PTFE. The grade of the PTFE used will depend on the application:
- 1007 – Virgin PTFE for packing, seals, and bushings.
- 1051 – 25% fiberglass-filled grade for common seals and bushings.
- 1911 and 1921 – Carbon/graphite-filled grades for bearings, piston rings, rider rings, and various seals. An excellent combination that provides good service life. 1911 has 25% fill. 1921 has 35% fill.
- 1521 – 50% stainless steel-filled grade for bearings and valve seat applications where high load and corrosion are primary concerns.
- 1821 – Moly/bronze-filled grade for bearing and seal applications where high load strength is needed. 55% bronze, 5% moly filled.
- 1551 – Ceramic-filled grade for applications where high wear resistance is required. 25% mica.
- 1621 – 35% carbon fiber-filled grade where high strength and high wear performance are sought; a high-performance composite grade.
Why ROC Carbon’s High-Quality PTFE
ROC Carbon is proud of our ROCBON high-performance, reinforced fluorocarbon composites. Our products possess exceptional properties, including chemical resistance, self-lubricating, thermal stability, moisture re-sorbent, contamination resistance, mechanical strength, and electrical insulation. We have been working with this material for many years, and like our other products, we are dedicated to creating the parts you need in the fastest turnaround time possible.